Tim Cook Damned if He Does, Damned if He Doesn’t

From a mostly pointless Daisuke Wakabayashi piece on Tim Cook in today’s WSJ:

Mr. Cook has pledged that Apple will enter a new product category later this year. People familiar with the company’s plans say that Apple is working on a smartwatch with advanced sensors to track a user’s fitness and health. Apple is expected to introduce the new device, as well as a larger iPhone, in the fall, these people said.

One challenge facing Mr. Cook is what Wall Street calls the law of large numbers: even a successful new product may barely move the needle for Apple, which generated $171 billion in revenue in the fiscal year ended last September. A flop could underscore that Apple’s product heydays are tied to the late Mr. Jobs. […]

Mr. Jobs’s repudiations bruised feelings while making sure the company stayed focused on a few projects. Under Mr. Cook, current and former employees say Apple may be spreading itself too thin, pursuing too many ideas and compromising the “laser focus” that Mr. Jobs used to create the iMac, iPhone and iPad.

Last year Apple desperately needed new products and Tim Cook was failing as CEO because Apple wasn’t delivering them. Now that they seem poised to deliver new products, Cook is “spreading the company too thin” and even a successful product won’t affect the bottom line so why even bother, right?

Look for that refrain to be repeated; it seems to be the new Apple narrative.

Monday, 7 July 2014